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Yamaha has launched the XSR900 – the bike that we saw a few weeks ago, designed by American custom builder Roland Sands the bike is a crossover with lots of tech but 1980s flat-tracker styling.

The bike uses the familiar 850cc inline 3-cylinder motor with cross-plane crank amid a flurry of other tech. No price yet announced for the bike, but here’s what Yamaha itself is saying about this model which is launched in yellow, black and white Yamaha North America colours.

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Building on the success of the XSR700, the all-new XSR900 steps up to join the Sport Heritage range, again paying tribute to the iconic motorcycles of Yamaha’s past, including the first 4-stroke model. The simple, timeless styling of the XSR900 is perfectly blended with colour schemes and graphics to reflect Yamaha’s sporty DNA, its history and its iconic motorcycles of the past. Beneath the retro inspired exterior lies the latest and best of Yamaha’s technology, promising a true emotional riding experience. The XSR900 delivers on its authentic feel with minimal use of plastic resin parts, instead offering high quality components to reward the senses. A 14- litre fuel tank with aluminium covers takes centre stage ahead of a split level stitched seat and is complimented by front and rear aluminium fenders, aluminium side covers and a sporty aluminium headlight stay. A matt black exhaust system with contrasting polished muffler end cap provides a throaty soundtrack to any riding adventure.

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The liquid-cooled 4-stroke motor benefits from some of the latest bike technology to deliver an unparalleled riding experience, including a Traction Control System (TCS) and an Assist & Slipper (A&S) clutch. The TCS is fully adjustable with three performance modes depending on the road conditions. Riders can opt for minimal or maximal intervention and can also switch the system off completely when appropriate to do so. The A&S clutch adds another level to rider enjoyment, providing more comfort through a gentler machine motion resulting from back torque when downshifting through the gears. It also creates a lighter clutch feel, inspiring more confidence when starting off and also coming to a stop, particularly when riding in the city. To reach the full potential of the powerful and involving engine and technology package requires a chassis set up to match, and the XSR900 doesn’t disappoint. A lightweight CF aluminium die-cast frame cradles the heart of the machine whilst the swingarm’s pivot is attached to the outside of the frame, creating a narrower, slimmer area around the feet. The end results deliver a foot position on par with an inline 2-cylinder motorcycle. Keeping the ride under control and offering even more input for the rider are the front and rear suspension setups. 41mm upside down forks at the front and a linked-type Monocross rear with shock unit are taken from the class leading Yamaha MT-09, and given specific setting changes for the XSR900. Rebound damping is adjustable at the front and preload and rebound damping at the rear, giving total control.

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Yamaha launches the 2016 XSR900

 

Tony Carter

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